Higher education: How to do drugs in Boston

If you choose to partake, at least do it right
By VALERIE VANDE PANNE  |  September 1, 2010


The price you'll pay. By Anonymous.
The leaves are changing color, and it's not because you ate a special mushroom pizza. The air is crisp, the nights are getting longer, and you're drinking coffee at 4 am. It's fall, and time to go back to school.

Before you set up your new MacBook and stake out your dorm room claim, take a moment to educate yourself on the local drug scene. You don't want to get kicked out of a head shop, land in the local lock-up, or buy crappy drugs.

Unspoken rules
Marijuana is decriminalized in Massachusetts. That means you can possess up to an ounce of marijuana and you can't be arrested for it — though you may be slapped with a $100 ticket, and your pot and gear could be confiscated. So don't mess it up. Be nice to the cops. Don't have that ounce in more than one bag, and don't carry a scale with it — you don't want to make them think you're a dealer. And for goodness's sake, don't sell it to an undercover officer.

Pot might be decriminalized, but there's a good chance your school has a different idea about it. Every college has a student guide or handbook with the rules you're supposed to follow. So before you think you can flaunt that ounce on your campus, learn the rules. You might not get arrested, but you could get suspended. Same goes for drinking alcohol on campus, even if you are over 21. Read your student handbook!

Paraphernalia is not legal. That means when you go into a store that sells bongs, you must refer to them as "tobacco water pipes." In other words: never say you are going to use something for illegal drug use. If you do, you'll get kicked out of the head shop, and maybe even arrested. The paraphernalia laws in Massachusetts are based on intent: your intended use makes the crime. And it goes beyond pipes and bongs — it applies to spoons, balloons, and blenders, too. So keep your verbalized intent in check.

Do not dose your friend without their consent and full knowledge of what you are giving them. If they've never taken the substance before, tell them the good, the bad, and the ugly, and let them decide if they want to do it. If you decide to surprise them, or dose them with out their knowledge, it is mind rape. Not cool. Not funny. Don't do it.

Do not drive or bike under the influence of alcohol, or anything else that disrupts your perception of time-space-motion-speed-balance-relation-to-the-box-truck-next-to-you continuum.

Know what you're taking — that means knowing your dealer and asking questions. You'll want to know the purity of the drug you're taking, what it's been cut/sprayed/made with, and if there are any warnings your dealer has. Potency is also good to know. If your dealer doesn't have the answers, gets sketched out by your questions, or if you suspect you've been given tainted or altered drugs — find a new dealer! You can also check out to learn about MDMA (ecstasy) pill quality, and go to to learn about all sorts of different mind-altering substances, how they work, and user experiences.

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